Err, the title is almost a summary itself. Based on the true story of a Texas mom who tries to hire a hitman (through her ex's brother) to kill either or both a cheerleader and her mother. ... See full summary »
Err, the title is almost a summary itself. Based on the true story of a Texas mom who tries to hire a hitman (through her ex's brother) to kill either or both a cheerleader and her mother. With the intended victims out of the way, Wanda's daughter gets the chance to become a cheerleader. When the media get hold of the story, Wanda's trial turns into a media circus. Written by
Savage, hilariously unmerciful tabloid mini-movie that spoofs tabloid mini-movies!...A sure-fire winner from beginning to end.
In 1975, director Michael Ritchie's `Smile,' a ripe, witty, stinging send-up on the backstage mechanisms of beauty pageants proved a real sleeper with critics. Not a box-office hit by any means, it completely went over people's heads. But not surprisingly, word of mouth eventually spread and the public took a second look. Today the movie is considered a cult classic.
I predict that lightning will strike twice for director Ritchie. He finds gold again in them thar hills with 1993's ridiculously titled `The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom,' an hysterical and highly perceptive tabloid mini-movie that parodies itself! This TV-movie will find it's own cult audience in years to come for there is absolutely nothing else like it. "Positively True..." never lets up for a moment, never loses steam, never loses its sting, and never runs out of people to crucify -- attacking not only the perpetrators of the crime, but their hapless victims who suddenly start seeing dollar signs, the money-grubbing news media and reality-based talk shows that wring every lurid bit of drama out of it--fact or fiction--for ratings points, and, of course, the vulturous, tabloid-hungry public who feeds off this trash. No stone is left unturned or unscathed. If you're Southern, if you're small town, if you're a MOM, be prepared!
`Positively True...' is not just for the curiously-challenged who starve for these ridiculous, hackneyed, one-dimensional TV crime reenactments that feature such tabloid "stars" as the Menendez Brothers, John and Patsy Ramsey and Amy Fisher, it's especially for those who despise them. In truth, both sides will be well served here. There's plenty on this gourmet plate to whet everyone's appetite. Jane Anderson's ripping, perceptive, Emmy-winning script make this so overwhelmingly fascinating that you never want it to end. It's twice as much fun than had it been played straight, and this WAS (of course!) played straight a year earlier in the banal TV-movie `Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story' starring Lesley Ann Warren.
For those who may have been visiting Mars at the time of this incident, `Positively True...' is based on an actual Texas incident in which a jealous suburban housewife and mother of a high school teenager was arrested for attempted murder after she hired a hit man to rub out her daughter's main cheerleading rival at school. Amazing and preposterous as it all sounds, it was BIG, BIG news in the early 90s.
Holly Hunter is simply phenomenal as Wanda Holloway, the surly, tough-minded, overly ambitious, delightfully drawling Texas mom who treats the cheerleading as social climbing status for her and her less-than-agile daughter, to the point where she deems it necessary to eliminate her daughter's main competition when it looks like she won't make the team. Beau Bridges is equally terrific as the trailer park trash crackpot who may or may not be up to the job. Both deservedly won Emmys for their remarkable portrayals.
The entire cast, in fact, is downright strange, especially Swoosie Kurtz as Bridges' fruitcake of a wife, Matt Frewer as Hunter's ex who wants a rich piece of the tabloid pie, and Elizabeth Ruscio as the rival's mother, who also sees the value of being a victim. Everyone is picture perfect, right down to the bit roles.
Probably the most cutting edge TV-movie I've ever experienced. You won't be disappointed.
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